The Australian government has launched the ‘Act Now Stay Secure’ campaign, aimed at ensuring Australian families, businesses and individuals do not become the victims of cyber crime.
The initiative was launched by the Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie, who noted that cyber criminals are targeting Australians at record levels.
“In the 12 months to 30 June this year, around 4,600 reports of business email compromise have been made to the Australian Cyber Security Centre. Of these, around a third reported financial losses totalling approximately $81 million,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.
“Email is a very common tool for the delivery of ransomware attacks, with phishing messages sent to potential victims containing malicious links or attachments.
“Compromised email accounts can also be used by cyber criminals to send fraudulent emails to the business’ customers, or steal sensitive information leading to the victim being blackmailed.
“A business or individual who has their email account compromised or targeted by scammers and cyber criminals could suffer catastrophic financial losses through scams or ransomware.
“There are things everyone can and should be doing to protect themselves and their email accounts – use complex passwords and multifactor authentication, back up your data and keep a copy off-line, and don’t click on suspicious links.”
The campaign is expected to provide users with helpful tips and guides to ensure that their online activity is safe from exploitation by malicious actors.
“As part of the ‘Act Now Stay Secure’ campaign, the Australian Cyber Security Centre has released new email security guides to help prevent email compromise, and advice to help victims recover from an email attack,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.
“There are also easy step-by-step guides on securing your email accounts, to help people protect themselves.”
The launch of the ‘Act Now Stay Secure’ campaign has coincided with international condemnation toward China for their role in last year’s Microsoft Exchange hack, although there is no suggestion that the two are related.